The grief and deep sadness of war will come alive on the stage in the large entertainment tent in four performances at Wasioja Civil War Days on June 15 and 16.
"A Mother's Story" will be performed at 1 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. on Saturday and at 9:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. on Sunday.
The play was written by Sandra Hennings Miller, of Byron, in December of 2000 for Minnesota High School League One Act Play competition. She said that she has always been interested in the Civil War.
"Nobody loses and nobody wins in war," she said.
"It's always like that."
She explained that she concentrated on writing about how ridiculous war is and what a total waste of men.
"Family life is important to me," she said. "I think the play shows that people in the North and people in the South have basically the same values - loving each other and taking care of their families and watching their sons and daughters grow up. It doesn't matter what their political beliefs are."
She suggested that people of the South and people of the North treasure the same memories.
"By the end of the war, who cares who was right and who was wrong?" she asked. "It's a loss, no matter what."
She saw a play that used a chorus to help tell the story and decided to incorporate a chorus into her play. So "A Mother's Story" has a monologue, little scenes and choruses, all done in rhyming patterns.
The people in the cast come from diverse backgrounds. They are from Rochester, Byron, Kasson and Mantorville. Some have had a great deal of experience on the stage. Others have never been in a play.
Jane Olive plays the Southern mother and Doreen Coleman, the Northern mother. Mason Moran plays the Northern son and Ben Peters, the Southern son.
"It took quite a bit of doing to put together this cast," Miller said. "But they've been a joy to work with. We have kind of bonded and become a family.
"I am looking forward to sharing 'A Mother's Story' with audiences during Wasioja Civil War Days."
The gates for Civil War Days will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The schedule includes three battles: the Battle of Mill Springs at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the Battle of Antietam on Saturday at 4 p.m. followed by the Overture of 1812 with live cannons at 6 p.m. and a dance at 8 p.m. followed by night fire, then the Battle at Gettysburg at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
There will be activities in the big tent throughout the days, medical demonstrations, music, a Garden Party at 1 p.m. at the Doig House on Saturday, a church service at 8:30 on Sunday at the main event tent or the battlefield, and children's activities. There will be a wide variety of refreshments.
Something to interest and educate all tastes.
A wagon will take visitors to the ruins of the seminary and the Civil War monument as well as to the Civil War Recruiting station.
Parking is available in the high school parking lot with rides at short intervals by school bus to the Civil War grounds throughout the day.